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30 Years of Laughs & Lasagna: The Life & Times of a Fat, Furry Legend! (Garfield) Hardcover – October 28, 2008
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From School Library Journal
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More About the Author
In college, he studied art and business before going to work for TUMBLEWEEDS creator, Tom Ryan. There, he learned the skills and discipline necessary to become a syndicated cartoonist and began his own strip, GNORM GNAT. When he tried to sell the strip to a newspaper syndicate he was told, "It's funny, but bugs? Who can relate to a bug?" After five years of GNORM, Davis crushed the bug strip idea and tried a new tact, studying the comics pages closely. He noticed there were a lot of successful strips about dogs, but none about cats! Combining his wry wit with the art skills he had honed since childhood, GARFIELD, a fat, lazy, lasagna-loving, cynical cat was born. Davis says Garfield is a composite of all the cats he remembered from his childhood, rolled into one feisty orange fur ball. Garfield was named after his grandfather, James Garfield Davis.
The strip debuted on June 19, 1978 in 41 U.S. newspapers. Several months after the launch, the Chicago Sun-Times cancelled GARFIELD. Over 1300 angry readers demanded that GARFIELD be reinstated. It was, and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, GARFIELD is read in over 2400 newspapers by 200 million people. Guinness World Records, named GARFIELD "The Most Widely Syndicated Comic Strip in the World." Davis's peers at the National Cartoonist Society honored him with Best Humor Strip (1981 and 1985), the Elzie Segar Award (1990), and the coveted Reuben Award (1990), the top award presented to a cartoonist by NCS members. Garfield quickly became a sensation in the licensing world, too, inspiring Davis to form his own company to take care of Garfield business concerns. Paws, Inc., founded in 1981, manages the worldwide rights for the famous fat cat, and Davis serves as President.
Garfield's fame spilled over to television and Davis penned eleven primetime specials for CBS-TV. He received ten Emmy nominations and four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Animated Program. Movies were next, and Twentieth Century Fox turned out Garfield: The Movie ('04), and Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties ('06). Davis also wrote the original screenplays and executive produced three animated features for DVD: Garfield Gets Real ('07), Garfield's Fun Fest ('08), and Garfield's Pet Force ('09). Also in 2009, "The Garfield Show" made its debut on Cartoon Network. Today, the CGI animated cartoon is in its fourth season and is seen in 131 countries, including China, where CCTV broadcasts the show daily.
Davis's philanthropy has been directed at educational and environmental projects. He founded The Professor Garfield Foundation in cooperation with Ball State University, to support children's literacy. A free educational web site www.professorgarfield.org is the cornerstone of the Foundation's work to date. Davis spearheaded reforestation, prairie and wetlands restorations, and built the world's first all natural waste water plant for commercial use. He was awarded the National Arbor Day Foundation's Good Steward and Special Projects Award, and the Indiana Wildlife Federations' Conservationist of the Year Award.
Davis spends his leisure time golfing, gardening, fishing, and enjoying his wife, children, and grandchildren. In a nod to Garfield's friends in the comic strip, Davis also keeps one cat, Nermal, and a dog, Pooky.
Top Customer Reviews
I admire the fat orange cat, who is really an anti-heroic anti-cat. He drinks coffee, he never chases mice, he eats Pizza and Lasagna, he watches TV all day, and now he has fun with a cellphone and the Internet. But he does eat cat food, hates dogs, sing on a fence, play with yarn, etc. And let's not forget the rest of the cast. Dim-witted Odie and nerdy Jon Arbuckle (who now has Liz as a girlfriend) accompany Garfield throughout almost every daily strip. Liz, Pooky, Nermal, Arlene, Irma, the mail carrier, and Jon's farm family make up the rest of the cast.
I know the comics from 2001 to present are weaker compared to the golden age of Garfield comics (the 80's and early 90's), but they still make me smile every time. And this book, "Garfield: 30 Years of Laughs & Lasagna" should be with every Garfield fan (whether die-hard or modest). It sums up the history of the comic's publication, the creation of major characters, Jim Davis's favorite strips, and more. But what happens when Garfield is no more? I doubt that this would end in a few years, but I'll still remember the pure delight that I've had with the fat orange cat and his many diverse companions.
30 Years of Laugh and Lasagna is just that, without the bib and messy food. Davis and company break the strip down decade by decade and give prime examples why Garfield is so popular. I still laugh at the Bad potato strip even though it is so darn silly! Simple, and obvious, but that is comic strip humor at its' best. Inbetween the humor, Davis writes short descriptions of the decades and his history. I never knew that he was Tom Ryans' assistant on Tumbleweeds, another strip I enjoy.
The icing on the cake, the chocolate on the cookie, the peanut butter on the jam, is the 30 faves that Davis includes on the end. Davis is no one dimensional cartoonist, clearly, he even includes a dentist joke (feed the teeth!).
You'll laugh until your lasagnas cooked.
Quality book, a must have for Garfield fans.
This is, until I start reading this book.
I mostly preform the Garfield's more modern look. But the wonderful,
surly humor is the same.
In my mind, humor helps to make the world go around. And Garfield
is one of the reasons, it's spinning with a smile.
Where does Garfield's 30th anniversary treasury fall on the list? Well, I would put it a step below Larson's "Prehistory," but a step above Watterson's "Tenth Anniversary." While this book isn't nearly as full of "extras" as Larson's treasury, it does something Watterson's treasury didn't -- chronicle the development behind the comic, and track how it evolved over the years.
"Garfield" seems to be a "love it or hate it" sort of comic, and seems to have gathered quite a hate following on the Internet, but I quite enjoy it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Son likes this book a lot. Found it cheaper on Amazon. He can't wait to get more Garfield BooksPublished 1 hour ago by Amazon Customer
Great! Awesome! Radical! Fantastic! Ideal! Excellent! Lasagna filled! Delightful!! GO GARFIELD!!!Published 16 months ago by Bob Fartsworthy
How can anyone ever go wrong with Garfield - the world's most famously lazy cat? Awesome collection guaranteed to bring you laughs.Published on November 9, 2013 by Julia S.
I read this together with my two tween sons. We all loved it. The best reason to buy this book rather than other Garfield volumes is for the "behind the scenes" comments on the... Read morePublished on February 10, 2013 by Norway Mom
I couldn't read the whole thing because my niece wouldn't let go of it long enough. There's no wasted space in this book. Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by D. K. Pritchett
My daughter loves Garfield and this book was perfect for her! Book received in excellent condition and super fast. Made Santa's job look easy. Thanks!Published on January 16, 2012 by Wen